A petition has been published in ”Change.org” which is now being supported by more than 12,000+ people.
The said petition included evidence of Sassots past statements, actions and posts where she openly supported, defended and justified Duterte’s wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians under the pretense of his illegal drug war as well as parroting propaganda messages targeted against Senator De Lima.
This is in line with the US recent approval of the Magnitsky Act, which aimed to ban Filipinos most particularly public officials who supported the unjust detention of Senator Leila De Lima as well as those who planned or instigated the wholesale slaughter of innocent Filipino civilians.
Leila De Lima already submitted the list of names to the US govt including fake-news peddler and blogger Sassot who currently resides and teaches in the Netherlands.
Here’s what the petition said.
PETITION TO DENY DUTCH CITIZENSHIP TO ALLANTROY ROGANDO SASOT aka SASS ROGANDO SASOT
To the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service,
We, the undersigned, petition your office to deny the Dutch citizenship application of Rodrigo Duterte’s online propagandist, Allantroy Rogando Sasot (aka Sass Sasot). Under Article 9 of the Netherlands Nationality Act, it is stated that
“An application by an alien who fulfills the conditions laid down in Articles 7 and 8 shall nevertheless be refused if there are grave reasons for believing, on the ground of the behaviour of the applicant that he or she constitutes a danger to public order, public morals, or the safety of the Kingdom.”
We believe that Sass Sasot is a danger to the public morals of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, specifically a danger to the longstanding Dutch tradition of respect for human rights. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a world-leader in terms of human rights. It is a party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has signed and ratified several human rights agreements(1). Sasot’s propagandistic connection with the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, is a direct contradiction to the human rights morality of the Dutch people. In this letter, we shall demonstrate Sasot’s connection with Duterte and then provide evidence of the type of work that Sasot does through (social) media to spin the human rights abuses of Duterte. Hopefully, by doing so, the Dutch Government through the IND will hear our plea.
The incumbent Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has received sustained media attention for his bloody “war on drugs” which has resulted up to 30,000 extrajudicial civilian killings(2) to date. The gross human rights violations of Duterte’s “drug war” has attracted the attention and is now currently under investigation by the UN Human Rights Council(3) and the International Criminal Court(2), with the latter probably issuing a warrant of arrest for Duterte sometime in 2020(2). It is no surprise that the EU has been a supporter of the move to probe the drug war(4). Since Duterte’s blood war has taken its toll not only to the impoverished citizens killed extrajudicially, but also to human rights defenders, the United States of America, utilizing the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2015, banned from entering the US and froze the US bank accounts of those responsible for the illegal detention of Senator Leila De Lima (a staunch Duterte critic)(5) and denounced the “arrest and detention of human rights defenders and political leaders”(5). Recently, Sen. De Lima named the 17 individuals responsible for her illegal detention and Sass Sasot was one of them(6).
SASOT’S TIES WITH DUTERTE
It is no coincidence that Sen. De Lima mentioned Sasot as one of the 17 responsible for her illegal detention. Sasot has been Duterte’s online propagandist accused by another Duterte personality to be on the payroll of certain Philippine politicians(7) and of spreading fake news(8). But, apart from these allegations, it is not difficult to establish that Sasot is an important aspect of Duterte’s propaganda machinery. Her name is a staple for the Duterte supporters that a simple Google or Facebook search could attest. A Google search of the terms “Sasot” and “Duterte”, for example, would result to 337,000 results (as of 26/12/2019). But, allow us to provide some examples.
First, in this news article, Sasot is seen among key Duterte personalities, such as Lorraine Badoy (undersecretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office) and RJ Nieto (one of the three prominent Duterte propagandists, along with Sasot and Mocha Uson(9)). The news piece, as a sort of a testament on how important the role is of online propagandists to Duterte’s agenda, reads, “Online defenders get Duterte approval to cover Palace events”:
Second, here, Sasot is seen confronting a BBC reporter for not giving her airtime, while an airtime was granted to an anti-Duterte blogger. This is interesting for several reasons: 1.) it demonstrates Sasot’s sense of entitlement when it comes to matters pertaining to Duterte politics; 2.) Sasot confronted BBC while Mocha Uson, the (former) assistant secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, looks on. In a blog dated November 13, 2017, Mocha Uson defended and praised Sasot’s confrontation(10).
Third, Sasot played an active role in propagandistic fora such as the Die Hard Duterte Supporters (DDS) Forum in Geneva, Switzerland in May 2017. The forum is entitled “DDS Gathering For the Motherland” with Sasot’s name at the top of the banner (look at video 2 at 0:05). Sasot was a constant presence in this forum whose main speakers were key pro-Duterte politicians such as Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano (Duterte’s vice-presidentiable running mate) and Menardo Guevarra (current Secretary of Justice). Sasot’s role in this forum is highlighted not only by her promotion of the forum (video 1) and her name on the banner, but by the very title of the forum itself. Sasot’s Facebook blog is entitled, “For the Motherland” while this forum’s title was “DDS For the Motherland”.
The talks of the speakers may be found here:
In these three instances, we hope to have demonstrated that Sasot is a key personality in Duterte’s War on Drugs propaganda.
SASOT’S WORK AS A DUTERTE PROPAGANDIST
As mentioned above, Sasot maintains a Facebook blog entitled, “For the Motherland” which has 717887 followers, as of 26/12/19. Among other things, her blogs attack human rights activitists and anti-Duterte politicians and activists and promotes the views of Duterte and allies. Recently, and coincidental to the announcement of the US of visa cancellation against those responsible for Sen. De Lima’s incarceration, Sassot announced that she is quitting political blogging. Nevertheless, as of 26/12/19, some of her posts may still be accessed via Facebook. Here are very few examples of posts against Duterte opponents:
Sen. Leila de Lima:
UN Rapporteur Agnes Callamard:
Vice-president Leni Robredo:
Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales:
Journalist and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa:
Former Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno:
On the other hand, Sasot is seen in the company of and promotes the views of Duterte and allies such as the following:
Senator Imee Marcos, daughter of the former Dictator Ferdinand Marcos:
Bongbong Marcos, son of the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos:
Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo:
Senator Richard Gordon:
Lastly, in a roundtable discussion with TRTWorld, Sasot defends Duterte’s bloody War on Drugs as “right and necessary”:
We hope we have convinced your office to at least closely consider our petition against the citizenship application of Allantroy “Sass” Rogando Sasot. Sasot is not just a private individual with a perverted view on human rights. She is a resident of the Netherlands, a docent at Maastricht University, and one of the key political propagandists of Rodrigo Duterte. Granting her Dutch citizenship will provide her an even wider platform to promote Duterte’s War on Drugs agenda, a war that for all intents and purposes, is against any and all the human rights agreements that the Netherlands is a signatory of. We urge the Kingdom of the Netherlands to take the side of the oppressed, and in this case the thousands who were murdered extrajudicially. The Philippines, under the Duterte administration, is now enveloped by the dark culture of impunity, and individuals like Sass Sasot are key in promoting and defending this Duterte agenda.
1. Government of the Netherlands. Human rights in the Netherlands. Available at: https://www.government.nl/topics/human-rights/human-rights-in-the-netherlands (Accessed: 23rd December 2019)
2. Bagares, R. ICC warrant of arrest for Duterte may be issued end of 2020. Vera Files (2019). Available at: https://verafiles.org/articles/icc-warrant-arrest-duterte-may-be-issued-end-2020?fbclid=IwAR2rF4PUD2KgP9FLuzsDyomyiQEz7sXLlGZfV9f-BEWgpseJ9BQ0GAnraVU (Accessed: 24th December 2019)
3. CNN. Duterte admin objects, condemns UN Council’s resolution on PH drug war killings. Available at: https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/7/12/Duterte-drug-war-UN-Human-Rights-Council.html
4. Philippine Daily Inquirer. About time, EU says of UN reviewing PH drug killings. Available at: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/177912/about-time-eu-says-of-un-reviewing-ph-drug-killings?fbclid=IwAR3HLmgmD2C6xcBGu3YVtfQdr1SFPkb-4u2ZgORtdXLNZ8bUDB6fnl4DYJQ
5. Rappler. What we know so far: Proposed U.S. sanctions vs PH officials in drug war. Available at: https://www.rappler.com/nation/247735-united-states-proposed-sanctions-vs-philippine-officials-drug-war
6. ABS CBN. Trump signs law banning De Lima jailers from entering US. Available at: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/12/23/19/trump-signs-us-2020-budget-banning-de-lima-jailers
7. DDS in disarray: Bruce Rivera slams Sass Sasot, Thinking Pinoy as politiko-paid hacks. Available at: https://politics.com.ph/dds-disarray-bruce-rivera-slams-sass-sasot-thinking-pinoy-politiko-paid-hacks/
8. Alam na! Bruce Rivera outs Sass Sasot as source of fake news on Robredo’s pregnancy. Available at: https://politics.com.ph/alam-na-bruce-rivera-outs-sass-sasot-source-fake-news-robredos-pregnancy/
9. Cruz, T. [OPINION] (Some) evil was defeated. Rappler Available at: https://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/219732-some-evil-was-defeated
10. Uson, M. BBC vs SASS (Mocha Uson Blog). (2017). Available at: https://www.facebook.com/Mochablogger/posts/10156021286041522
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